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Present Simple

I/you/we/they work/don't work

he/she/it works/doesn't work

facts and generalisations

habits and routines

permanent situations

state verbs (love hate,
need, prefer, have etc.)

official arrangements,
timetables, schedules
(train/bus/plane etc.)
Chuck Norris doesn't get frostbite.

Chuck Norris bites the frost.
Present Continuous
I am working/am not working

you/we/they are working/aren't working

he/she/it is working/isn't working

present or temporary

future arrangements

irritation over something
or somebody (with
-Tell me, are you using the sprinkler
always) system to keep the audience awake?
Present Perfect
I/you/we/they have worked/haven't

he/she/it has worked/hasn't worked

actions in the past which

have an effect on the
present moment

actions which happened at
an indefinite time before
now (life experience)

actions which began in the
past and continue in the

emphasis is on the RESULT
Present Perfect Continuous
I/you/we/they have been working/haven't been

he/she/it has been working/hasn't been working

actions that started in

the past and continue
in the present

actions that have
recently stopped

emphasis is on ACTION

-You know, teaching the cat to use the
bathroom instead of the litter box has
proved to be a mistake.
Past Simple
I/you/we/they worked/didn't work

he/she/it worked/ didn't work

events in the past

that are now finished
They lived a normal life until
they won a lottery.

a series of actions in
the past Last year I
travelled around, saw different
countries and met a lot of
-I MET my old friend from school yesterday
and she LOOKED really weird.
Past Continuous
actions in progress in a
you/we/they were working/weren't
specific time in the past

Yesterday this timewas working/
I was having a cup wasn't working

of tea.

interrupted actions in
progress I was already falling
asleep when I received the message.

actions in progress at
the same time in the
past It was raining, however, I was
having my night swimming.

-Yesterday this time I WAS JOGGING alone, so

polite questions I was
this was the only way I could get him to join me.
Past Perfect
you/we/they had worked/hadn't worked

I/he/she/it had worked/ hadn't worked

a completed action before

another activity in the past
I had never seen a camel before my
father brought me to the zoo.

dissatisfaction with the

past I wish I had paid more
attention in English lesson at school.

-I wish I HAD PAID more attention to what kind

of diet I was trying out.
Past Perfect Continuous
you/we/they had been working/hadn't been working

I/he/she/it had been working/ hadn't been working

duration of a past action up

to a certain point in the
past When I last saw my friend she
looked tired as she had been working
a lot lately.

-When I met my sister I knew she HAD BEEN